If you want to design ways for people to associate, innovate development or spread an idea, read a fashion blog.
Fashion blogging is a fantastic online space, drunk on creativity, enthusiasm, networking - and yes, pushiness, careerism and an orgy of affiliate marketing and product placement too.
But follow fashion blogs and you'll soon discover a treasure-trove of ways and means that like-minded souls express their interest, exchange and share enthusiasms and enlist slaves to their cause.
As I've posted before, fashion online is a space full of amateurs turned pro/semi-pro who've assumed a status that gets them flown worldwide for fashion events and reserved seats on the front row of Fashion Week.
One clue to the influence of fashion bloggers is how they associate with one another and are organized online.
They share knowledge and affiliations via community networks like Independent Fashion Bloggers.
Friends collaborate to bulk up content and reach - see Anywho.
What you end up with is enthusiasts starring in their own shoots:
Alongside fans winning careers, thousands of square miles of new online real estate - 'personalized surfaces' - are created for advertising.
It may offend sensitive minds - and now may be a difficult time to talk of things that invite excess - but this all now (weirdly) seems (to me at least) very relevant to the cause of increasing citizen participation, fostering local activism and seeding grassroots economies - an obsession just now in the U.K.
The scale and dynamism of fashion blogging shows what happens when people have the freedom and space to develop their passion.
The diverse ways in which bloggers organize and associate shows how individuality can be networked and collectivized effectively, so long as raw enthusiasm remains up front.
What's more, these blogs show that enthusiasts can grow in to communities, so long as there's a degree of permission to participate - in this case, granted by owners of intellectual property - and options available to make money, should people want it.Some fashion bloggers earn money by associating with large and small company partners, others through advertising.
Flip this for a conclusion:
marketing people are starting to see some amateur enthusiasts and what they're up to as an effective route to market and valuable source of profit.
As ever, forget fashion at your peril. :)Images courtesy of 1.Yvan Rodic. 2. Jak & Jil Blog. 3. Yvan Rodic. 4.Late Afternoon. 5. chicmuse. 6. fashiontoast.